Should we make massive investments in regular public transportation, deploy thousands of on-demand driverless shuttles, or place our bets on increased usage of shared cars and scooters? We’re reporting on different methods of getting people out of their cars!
There's little doubt that reducing our dependency on private cars is crucial for shaping a more sustainable mobility system. However, there are several challenges to making that happen. In Los Angeles, arguably the world's most car-centric city, a massive ($120 billion) investment in public transportation is hoped to be one such measure to encourage people to use alternative modes of transport. According to a study by UC Davis and BMW, although the final report is not yet published, at a recent conference, it was hinted that the car culture may be too deeply rooted among Angelenos. Security concerns while using transit seem to be another deterrent.
In other places, sometimes with a more comprehensive transit system already in place, micro-transit has been viewed as a useful tool to increase ridership, with mixed results due to a costly business model stemming from driver costs. Eliminating the need for a driver in the bus would, of course, solve that problem, and it will be exciting to follow Hamburg’s plan to deploy 10,000 driverless on-demand shuttles.
At the recent Web Summit in Lisbon, consultants Oliver Wyman claimed that there is still untapped potential in shared vehicles. They estimate that currently, 3% of all global urban journeys are made using shared micromobility or ride-hailing, but they forecast that number to increase to 7% by 2030. Success in achieving this will require close collaboration between the private and public sectors, as indicated in another report from the same consulting firm.